Our Gettysburg Ghost

Gettysburg

A few years ago, we went on a family vacation.  First we drove to Washington D.C. and spent a few days touring the museums and famous buildings and then we drove to Gettysburg to continue our vacation.  On the way to Gettysburg, we stopped off to tour a Civil War Field Hospital that overlooked the battlefield of Antietam.

Antietam is the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.  We were only there for a couple of hours and then we drove on to Gettysburg.  When we arrived at our Civil War era Bed & Breakfast in the center of downtown Gettysburg, we unloaded our van and prepared to move in to the old home that would be our residence for then next few days.  But when we tried to open the automatic sliding doors on the van, the one on the driver’s side tried struggled to open, but then it kept half closing and then opening again. We checked to make sure there wasn’t anything in the way, perhaps the seat belt, or the arm of the chair, or maybe the mat on the floor was preventing the door from closing.  It is made so that if it senses someone or something in the way, it automatically opens again so as not to cause injury.  But there was nothing in the way.  We finally had to close it manually.  At first we didn’t think much of it, but later that night we took the van on our ghost tour.

For those of you who enjoy ghost tours, Betty Smith’s Ghost Tour in Gettysburg is one of the best!  Instead of the typical “walking tour,” you meet her in a parking lot and then follow her in cars to all the haunted locations.  One of the scariest of which is a covered bridge that was used as the Confederate Army retreated from Gettysburg after their defeat.  History tells us that some confederate soldiers were actually hung from the rafters of the bridge by union soldiers, and walking on it at night is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences I have ever had on a ghost tour.  But this night, every time our kids tried to get in or out of the back seat of the van, the automatic door on the driver’s side just wouldn’t close.

We started to joke about our “ghost.”  If we had picked up a ghost along the way, that may explain why the automatic door kept sensing “something” in the way.  The following day we went on a guided driving tour of the battlefield at Gettysburg.  Every time we stopped, the kids had to get out of the passenger side door, because the driver’s side door still wouldn’t close. During our stay, my husband bought a small Civil-War era double-barrel pistol at an antique store in Gettysburg.  It had originally been found on the field at Antietam.  Although there were guns supplied to the soldiers, during the war soldiers brought their own guns and found guns in houses along the way to arm themselves.

When we finally left the Gettysburg area, we stopped at an antique gun dealer in Pennsylvania to see if he might be able to shed some more light on the origins of the old pistol.  When the kids got out of the car, the driver’s side automatic door opened for the first time without any problem since arriving at Gettysburg.  We were all amazed when it then closed automatically without any manual help.  It seems that our Gettysburg Ghost decided to stay in Gettysburg. Perhaps he was a soldier we picked up at the Antietam Field Hospital and he just wanted to hitch a ride to Gettysburg to be with his friends?

P.S.  Notice the orbs in the picture of the covered bridges, they say orbs are spirits.

http://www.theresadodaro.com   Author of The Tin Box Trilogy

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